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WEEKEND WEB: Free Press letters

Reader's picture by Malcolm Pepper
Reader's picture by Malcolm Pepper

You views on the Ayscoughfee fountain, speeding, politics and care homes

Monument was put up as mark of gratitude over donation

John Elson's Lincs Free Press cartoon
John Elson's Lincs Free Press cartoon

Mr Carter is wrong, I’m afraid. (Spalding Guardian letters, January 18). The Johnson drinking fountain does not commemorate the Johnson sisters’ gift of the hospital to the town. It was much more to the point.

It was put up as a mark of gratitude to Miss Mary Ann Johnson for her part in bringing clean mains water to large numbers of Spalding people previously dependent on more or less contaminated well water.

In 1873, she generously gave £1,500 to the Spalding Water Works Company - £150,000 in today’s money – to extend the water mains along London Road, along Holbeach Road to the Pigeon Inn and along Winsover Road to the Robin Hood and then up Hawthorn Bank.

The fountain was installed in 1874. It was moved from Hall Place to Ayscoughfee Gardens in 1954 to make way for a traffic roundabout.

In trying to put together the fountain’s history, I have run into a blank space.

I haven’t been able to find any account of the unveiling ceremony (August or September 1874), as the back numbers of the local papers for that year are missing, both from the photo reels in the library and the bound volumes at the Free Press offices.

If any of your readers can direct me to any information about the unveiling, I should be most grateful. It must have been quite an event.

I should also be interested to know how the fountain actually worked.

Did it run continuously or were there taps of some sort?

And were the little inlets at the foot of the plinth intended for thirsty dogs?

Again, any information would be very much appreciated.

John Charlesworth

Regent Street


All we are doing is trying to create a safer community

In response to letter ‘Speed gun groups no more than vigilantes’.

After the writer called us ‘a clique of uneducated amateurs trying to legalise their personal opinions and justify their intentions to become an unaccountable group of vigilantes’, we would reply as follows. We consider ourselves an educated and law abiding group of citizens and not an unaccountable group of vigilantes (a self appointed group of citizens who undertake law enforcement in the community without legal authority).

The group of residents willing to take an active role in the Community Speed Watch Initiative are supported by the Lincolnshire Police and Crime Commissioner, Lincolnshire Road Safety Partnership and Pinchbeck Parish Council, and therefore accountable to those bodies and are acting within the law.

The volunteers will be properly trained by a qualified person to operate a speed gun that cannot issue a penalty notice but will pass on details of the speeding vehicle to a central coordinator who will refer it to the police who will in the first instance issue an advisory letter.

A petition signed by over 200 residents of Six House Bank for a reduction in the speed limit from 40 to 30mph is to make our community a safer place to live.

Reducing the speed limit from 40 to 30 mph would reduce the risk of serious injury or death some 40 per cent.

The writer of the letter published in the Free Press suggests a speed limit of 50mph along our road. Really?

That would increase the risk of death if struck by a vehicle at that speed to at least 90 per cent. Perhaps the writer of that letter should attempt to collect a petition in his community to raise their speed limit by 10mph.

We would agree that the school in Leaves Lake Drove doesn’t have an entrance on Six House Bank – the school is only situated approximately some 10 metres off Six House Bank. For those 10 metres there is a 30mph zone – unfortunately, most of the children attending that school are only in that zone for a short time, most of their journey home is along a narrow, poorly-maintained footpath on only one side of the road, where the speed limit is 40mph.

Our participation in the Community Speed Watch Scheme coupled with reducing the speed limit to 30mph would create a safer environment for the whole of our community and not as suggested a 50mph limit. Our priority is for the residents not for some irresponsible motorist to travel from one end of Six House Bank too the other end a few seconds quicker.

Six House Bank Speed Awareness Group

West Pinchbeck

Our voice and our choice for many years to come

The decision of our excellent local MP John Hayes MP (pictured) to step down from the Government means that Mrs May has lost from her top team one of the best orators in the House and someone with a vast knowledge of the workings of Westminster.

There is no doubt he will be missed on the front bench, but welcomed with open arms by backbench colleagues of all parties.

John’s ideas and achievements on key matters – from skills and energy policy to national security and transport – have helped to shape the nation.

Also, as – by far – the most witty and stylish speaker from the dispatch box, his generous spirit and joviality have made many parliamentary occasions altogether more agreeable (the removal of ties by MPs when addressing one another springs to mind!).

John has served this and the previous Government in numerous roles during his 20 years of public service so far.

But perhaps the most remarkable thing about John Hayes is that throughout all this he has, through sheer dedication, earned a reputation an outstanding constituency MP, in fact he is arguably the best of all.

Knowing him, I know that all this will continue.

The freedom he now has means he will range widely across the subjects, campaigns and causes close to his heart and in the interests of the local people amongst whom he lives.

John’s move means that he can challenge at all levels the Government and the opposition.

I look forward to seeing the transformation of Minister John Hayes to Backbencher John Hayes. I have absolutely no doubt that his presence in the House of Commons will be felt still and that few new ministers will anticipate his questions without a degree of nervousness because John’s steely determination to do what is right for the people is as well-known as his kindness. He is truly the peoples’ voice and will be our choice for many years to come.

Paul Redgate

South Holland and the Deepings Conservative Association

Home is now outstanding

It is extremely disappointing that, in your article on The Bungalow retirement home, Park Road, Spalding, published in the Spalding Guardian on January 18, you failed to clarify that the care home has been under new in-house management since January 2013.

In order to find accommodation for a very close relative, who was diagnosed with severe dementia at the age of 94, I visited many residential care homes and considered The Bungalow to be by far the most suitable. My aunt has lived at the care home since December 2014. I visit her three times a week.

I wish to bring to your readers’ attention that I and other visitors have nothing but praise for the way in which The Bungalow is managed.

The ability of its carers and other essential members of staff is outstanding. Their kindness and unpatronising attitude towards the residents is exemplary. No one is left unattended; all the differing and sometimes difficult needs of the residents are dealt with quickly.

The Bungalow has a very happy atmosphere. It is obvious that all the residents trust and adore the carers, and that the carers adore them. I have visited others in care homes, but I regard the facilities as well as the love and care shown at The Bungalow to be excellent and of the highest quality.

Fiona Stevenson



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